It seems like plastic is playing an increasingly bigger role in our lives every year. From bags to bottles and even our clothes. Last week the federal government took the first step to reverse this trend. The government announced a series of steps intended to ban plastic.

(Transcript of Lawrence Gunther’s bi-weekly 12-minute segment on Live from Studio 5 broadcast over AMI TV and Audio across Canada)

Q. Welcome back Lawrence, what does the government ban on the use of microbeads in toiletries mean and will it actually make a difference?

A. The ban comes into effect in July 2018.
A. It includes shower gels, toothpaste and facial scrubs
A. Before that there’s a ban on importing and manufacturing microbeads.

Q. Why the ban, how can such tiny bits of plastic cause a problem?

A. The beads were officially declared toxic by Environment Canada in June 2017.
A. Even though they only measure between 3 and 5 mm in size, but it’s what happens to them when they enter the environment that is the issue.

Q. Why now, surely we must have known about these issues for some time?

A. The government began studying the beads in 2015.
A. Our timing of the ban follows the United States for removing the tiny pollutant.
A. It’s going to take another year before the ban covers natural health products and non-prescription drugs.

Q. Are beads the primary source of micro plastics in our environment?

A. Beads are the low hanging fruit.
A. Micro plastics resulting from bags and bottles are just as destructive.
A. We are just learning about micro fibers as well.